I must put plasters on the shopping list.
DH was making anti-bunny cages for the plants yesterday and had a slight argument with a hacksaw. Ouch. This is not unusual when he is doing ‘things’ in the garden – sometimes it’s his head, sometimes his fingers – luckily for him today it was only his finger.
This is why a flat tyre might prove fatal one day if we needed to get to A&E.
I continued in the trellis border….. all 40ft of it. It is beginning to take shape, well some kind of shape – not exactly the shape I had intended but I can titivate it later; flowing curves are not easy to cut so they look good from all directions…..…. but for now the hard work is done, the lawn edged, the bed weeded and the stones removed other than the ones that are there for decoration or bunny protection.
This is the end of the border before….and after……When I get the rest of the planting in and there is less bare earth and more colour it will start to look better. As this is the seaside garden I am planting a mix of seaside plants – Valerian (a good spreader and so far anti-rabbit), lavender, Santolina, kniphofia, Erigeron and thrift.
No doubt by our next visit it will once again be covered in weeds and maybe bunnies.
Rag, Tag and Bobtail have now been joined by bibbity and bobbity, hippity and hoppity and what seems like many distant cousins.
But the sly old fox is very close on their tails – hiding in the gorse – just waiting his chance. I am still keeping a few bunny cages in place just in case…..
…and a few stones to prevent nibblers from damaging the roots whilst the new plants ‘settle in’ and grow stronger.
At last I have uploaded the photos of our little venture last Thursday. After climbing the ‘mound’ we set off travelling north on the road to New Luce that runs on the eastern side of the Stair estates at Castle Kennedy just outside Stranraer. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a Hen Harrier flew overhead (Lord Stair had mentioned to DH sometime ago that they are nesting on his estate at Castle Kennedy), a beautiful bird and quite a size with a very large wingspan. It came extremely close to us and swooped past gliding gracefully into the woods. Apparently, there are not many in the UK so we are lucky to see one. Sadly it was one picture that I didn’t manage to take.
New Luce is a tiny conservation village part of the Glenluce parish. It is on the road to nowhere and developed as a village through the necessity of having a meeting place for all the local outlying farms of such a large parish. It is like an oasis in the dessert only here it is a lush oasis in the middle of moorland. The locals affectionately call it Nineveh. There are 62 homes and about 90 residents of all ages. It is positioned where two rivers meet – the Main Waters of Luce and the Cross Waters of Luce. Like the river the two main streets of the village form a T shape each of which has a bridge over one of the rivers.
Take any of the four roads to New Luce and you will not pass through any other village or hamlet on the way, save Glenwhilly, which I believe is nothing more than a couple of houses clustered at the old station on the way north to Barhill; strangely it boasts Scotland’s most remote signal box though goodness knows where the passengers would have come from in such an uninhabited place. Like New Luce , the station at Glenwhilly closed in 1965.
Glenluce, a small rural village to the South of New Luce has a village shop and is the closest place 5 miles away, and where the younger children now attend school, Stranraer is 9 miles to the South west and Barrhill 13 miles to the North so it feels more isolated than remote; surrounded on all sides by open moorland (that has not yet fallen to any great swathe of forestry planting) and where sections of the winding road are single track with passing places and cattle grids. As you descend down from the moors towards the village the scenery changes into a more gentle landscape of farmland with farmsteads dotted here and there….– complete with grazing sheep…. lots of them and on the road too….. and in no hurry. We entered at the lower end of Station Street.Just to the left of the picture stands this old iron bath tub filled with an array of flowers. Just one of the many repurposed artefacts around this village. At one time this old tub was to be found in one of three Inns as this notice tells me. That is a lot of drinking establishments for such a small place. Interestingly in the 1846 census there were not only 3 Inns but several village shops serving 278 villagers and a school attended by 50 children.It is a haven for the red squirrel; sadly we saw none on our visit but I just love the way the locals in this area make the road signs their own and have added a cheeky little apple sticker – often the cow signs have been adapted to resemble the belted galloways with the white band. And just look at this wonderful play park for the handful of children who live here. Libbie would have loved to play in here for the afternoon.Over the Main Water bridge now and I just had to take a picture of this house with the sun pod in the garden – I have only ever seen them displayed in John Lewis before and wondered who bought them!They had a collection of rare breed sheep wandering about- the one at the back resembling a big teddy bear was so cute.
Opposite is the little village shop and Post Office offering free herbs in the window boxes, beside it is a red telephone box (mobile signal is poor) and a post box – all a good sign of a thriving village.With limited stock and limited opening hours and a bus service only on 3 days of the week and no train link you do not want to run short of anything living out here.At the top of Station Street is the junction with Main Street and what appears to be a little public garden, where a cottage once stood, no doubt lovingly tended by the local villagers.
It must be one of the best kept villages I have seen in ages and I love the way they reuse, repurpose and recycle so many discarded objects, turning them into planters and sculptures as you will see on our little walk around.
At the back of the garden was a flight of gravel steps leading up to this monument – we couldn’t quite read the inscription on the stone but given its position here it must be quite important to the village.The gravelled path continued along what seemed to be a little lane running high above Main Street at the back of the row of cottages. Here we found some very curious allotment style gardens with sheds…..I have never seen so many sheds in such a tiny village….everyone had a shed, or two or three! The Ferrets Nest certainly appeared to be more of a weekend chalet than a shed. And one or two had a caravan – possibly in use!And whichever wall you looked over everyone had a display of household artefacts and recycled objects …..or even an old ruin in their back gardens.Eventually the little lane came out onto the main street again.
Some of the cottages had quaint window displays inside and out….
and fancy wall plaques… sadly not all were delightful – this window is displaying a notice announcing a closure –It appears that the last of the Inns, the Kenmuir Arms Hotel, is also now ‘closed until further notice’ – the owners having closed up in the winter of 2018, gone abroad and as yet not returned. Though noticing a skip outside the back with mattresses dumped in it I am thinking perhaps they are not reopening. It was a popular Hotel – especially with walkers… and campers who could pitch their tents down at the bottom of the Hotel garden by the water ….with the midges. Going further along Main Street and over the second of the bridges (Main Bridge) I came across this cute little cottage with a recent extension… It is possible it might have been a Toll house.This garden outside this chalet caught my eye – where else in the world would you come across a scene like this on the road side where there is an open invitation to passers by to play with the little toy cars…….and no one steals them! There were so many unusual things to see in this village I will take a break here and continue in part two a few steps away at the church and village memorial hall.
Apologies if there are spelling mistakes, it is late, I am tired and WordPress spellcheck has disappeared off the editing toolbar.
Back soon x